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Posted on in Truck Accidents

Waukegan truck accident lawyersWhen winter weather makes Illinois roads impassable, we rely on hardworking teams of snowplow truck drivers to clear the way. Although rare, snowplow truck accidents do happen, and the results are often catastrophic. A fully loaded snowplow truck can weigh up to 50,000 libs or more. Pedestrians or other motorists can easily be injured or even killed in a snowplow accident. If you or a loved one were hurt in a snowplow accident, you may be eligible for compensation.

Causes of Snowplow Accidents

Snowplow drivers have an extremely difficult job. Maneuvering through snow and ice-covered streets takes skill and attention. In addition, snowplow drivers often must work extremely long hours – especially during winter snowstorms. Driver fatigue is a major concern for many municipalities and private snowplowing companies. When snowplow drivers are sleepy, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or distracted, they can make mistakes that lead to serious accidents. Trucks and snowplow equipment that are not properly maintained can breakdown or malfunction causing personal injury and property damage. Low visibility, road hazards, and inadequate driver training can also contribute to snowplow accidents.

Who is Responsible for a Snowplow Accident?

The majority of personal injury claims involve negligence or recklessness. If another party’s negligence caused your accident, you may be able to hold that party accountable through a personal injury claim. The party responsible for your damages may be the individual truck driver, the company who owns the snowplow business, the municipality managing the snowplow program, the party who performed maintenance on the truck, the truck manufacturer or truck parts manufacturer, or another entity. If a city-owned snowplow truck causes an accident, it may be possible to sue the city, but doing so can prove quite difficult. For help determining the cause of your accident and holding the responsible parties liable, contact a qualified truck accident attorney.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysDriving on any Illinois road exposes drivers to many dangers, among which is falling objects from trucks and other motor vehicles. Some of the products hauled in our streets daily include, construction materials, gravel, demolition debris, furniture, and many other kinds of cargo. It is not uncommon for some of these objects to become loose and fall off the trucks carrying them. It is therefore important to keep a safe distance and obey all other traffic rules to avoid these falling objects which can cause serious accidents or even death.

Federal and State Laws on Carrying Loads

Federal and Illinois state laws require drivers of flatbeds or any vehicle carrying a load to safely secure the load with devices that prevent the cargo from falling onto the roadway. The laws also prohibit tractor-trailers from being driven on any roads unless and until their cargo is safely secured and covered to prevent spillage or falling.

There are also laws that drivers and operators must follow governing transportation of hazardous materials to make sure these materials are not spilled or accidentally released. Spills involving hazardous materials can cause accidents leading to injuries and damage for those sharing the road and following behind.

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Waukegan truck accident lawyersAnyone who has driven a semi-truck for a living can tell you that it is not an easy job. Truck drivers are expected to drive extremely long distances and endure erratic sleep schedules. However, this is no excuse to drive unsafely. Fatigued truck drivers can make careless driving errors or even fall asleep at the wheel putting other motorists in life-threatening danger. If you were injured in an accident caused by a fatigued or otherwise negligent truck driver, you could be eligible for compensation.

Recent Study Highlights the Danger Fatigued Truck Drivers Pose

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently conducted an extensive study regarding truck accidents. According to their research, approximately 13 percent of serious traffic accidents involving large trucks are caused by a fatigued driver. When drivers are too sleepy, they can drift into other lanes without knowing it or even crash into other vehicles. Considering many truck drivers are operating vehicles that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, a truck accident can cause severe damage. Other causes of serious truck accidents include equipment failure, driver error, driver drug and medication use, and distracted driving.

Rules Regarding Truck Driver Rest

Fatigued and overworked truck drivers are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road around them. Because of this risk, state and federal regulations dictate how often truck drivers must stop to rest as well as how many hours they can drive in a certain time period.

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Waukegan Semi-Truck Accident Attorney

A tired driver is not a safe driver. Lack of rest makes drivers less attentive and slows reaction time. A tired semi-truck driver can be especially dangerous for anyone in their path simply because a fully loaded tractor-trailer weighs 10 to 15 times more than the average passenger car and requires significantly more stopping time and distance. 

When a fatigued truck driver fails to reduce speed in time to avoid a collision, serious injuries or death can result. These semi-truck accidents often make headlines because of their severity. Here are some semi- truck crash headlines from the Chicago area and around Illinois just for the month of June.

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Lake County Truck Accident Law Firm

Ever had a vehicle in front of you kick up a rock or other piece of road debris that hits your car or windshield? It happens to most drivers at least once in their lifetime. The resulting damage to your vehicle is generally minor and covered by your auto insurance if you carry comprehensive coverage. But what if you encounter a much more severe road hazard such as cargo spilled by a commercial truck? If the cargo in a semi-trailer or dump truck is improperly loaded and secured, the load can shift in transit, causing the driver to lose control, tip over, and spill their entire load onto the roadway. If you or a loved one suffers severe injury as a result of a semi-truck accident like this, you may have a cause of action against the truck operator. 

Cargo spills sometimes result from a semi-truck collision with another vehicle. In this situation, other vehicles typically slow to avoid the accident and thereby avoid hitting the spilled goods. However, some cargo spills have tragic consequences.

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